Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pavakkai pitlai/Bitter Gourd Pitlai

pavakkai pitlai

Pavakkai pitlai/Bitter Gourd pitlai is a traditional recipe prepared with Bitter gourd and lentils. 

  • 2 Bitter gourds/Pavakkai (De seeded and sliced)
  • 1 ladle Black Channa/Black chickpeas
  • 1/2 Cup Toor dal
  • 1 Gooseberry size Tamarind
  • 2 tsp Jaggery
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • As per taste Salt

For Seasoning:
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • A spring Curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp Oil

To Roast and Grind:
  • 1 tbsp Channa dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad dal
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • A small piece Asafoetida/Hing (Bar)
  • 2 Red chillies (I have added 2 extra Bydige chillies for colour)*


1) Soak Black channa/Karuppu kondakadalai overnight. 

2) Heat a kadai with few drops of oil and add Channa dal, Urad dal, Red chillies, Asafoetida and Coriander seeds, fry them till nice aroma arises. Leave them to cool and grind to coarse mixture. Additionally I am adding Coriander leaves, Jaggery and grinding again.

pavakkai pitlai

3) Meantime pressure cook Bitter gourd, Black channa and Toor dal to 3-4 whistles. I usually keep them in separate vessels in same pressure cooker. Soak tamarind in warm water for half hour and extract juice from pulp and keep aside. 

Pavakkai pitlai

4) Heat oil in a kadai and add Mustard seeds to crackle then add Curry leaves and fry.

5) Add Bitter gourd/Pavakkai and fry it for few secs. Then add Tamarind juice and Salt, let Pavakkai gets boiled in tamarind juice for few minutes.

6) Add boiled channa and mix well. Next add cooked toor dal and let the pitlai gets cooked for 10 minutes.

7) Now add ground mixture and mix well. Leave it to boil for 5 minutes and switch off the flame. 

pavakkai pitlai
Tasty Pavakkai/Bitter gourd pitali ir eady.


1) Pitali tasted so good with out coconut so I skipped it. According to your preference you can add 2 tbsp of Grated Coconut while grinding.

2) You can also add finely chopped coriander leaves finally instead of grinding. Grinding 1/2 Green chilli will increase the spiciness of this pitlai.

3) Instead of Black channa you can also add fresh green peas, peanuts, Black eyed peas (karamani).

4) * Bydige Mirchi is a Karnataka special mirchi which gives nice Red colour but has no spiciness at all.

5) I prepare this Curry powder in bulk and store in airtight container and it comes handy when I prepare pitlai, podi curry's, kootu, sambar etc.

6) Instead of grinding jaggery, you can also add it directly to pitlai while boiling.

pavakkai pitlai

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